This past weekend, we had our annual family camping trip with my side of the family. Each year, we try out a new campground in Ohio and spend the weekend together. It is so nice since we are spread out and rarely have a chance to spend quality time together.
This year we spend the weekend at Alum Creek State Park. There were 10 of us, including 6 adults and 4 kiddos. Spending 2 nights camping with 2 toddlers, we wanted to make sure our meals were well planned out and easy to make. My mom had the great idea of bringing a Crock-Pot and preparing some meals in advance. We cooked all of our meals for the weekend either over the campfire using roasting sticks and pie pans or the Crock-Pot.
Friday Dinner: Crock-Pot Chili (Modified from Six Sister’s Stuff Mom’s Slow Cooker Chili)
My mom prepped and cooked this chili during the day on Friday. We unplugged the Crock-Pot, traveled to our destination, then plugged it back in to heat up so we could have a hot dinner. The hot dinner was much appreciated our first night since it was dark and raining when we arrived. After setting up our tents in the soggy conditions, we were ready for a hot meal! (Unfortunately, due to the dark and rain, I wasn’t able to get any pictures of this delicious dish.)
1 lb ground beef (we used 1/2 lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground turkey)
1 onion, diced
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup or chili sauce
1/4 cup water
1 (15 oz) can dark red kidney beans
1 packet chili seasoning mix
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 Tablespoon sugar
Brown ground beef with chopped onion. While they are browning, combine all other ingredients in crock pot. Stir together and add browned hamburger with onion. Cook all day on low or on high for 3-4 hours. Top with shredded cheese and crackers.
Saturday Breakfast: Pancakes, Fruit, and Cereal
For breakfast we made pancakes in the pie pans over the fire. Bisquick makes these great Shake and Pour containers that are perfect for camping. You add water, shake, and the batter is ready to cook! I recommend heating up the pie pans over the fire first, then spraying with butter spray before pouring the batter in. We enjoyed our pancakes with fruit. We also brought along cereal cups as another option.
Saturday Lunch: Pizza Pockets and Hot Dogs
Pizza pockets are a fun meal to make, especially with kids. They can be personalized with any toppings you would like. We stuck to basic pepperoni and cheese. Some of us also cooked hot dogs over the fire.
Ingredients (For 1 pocket)
2 slices of bread
1/3 cup of pizza sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella or pizza cheese
5-6 pepperoni slices
Spray one side of each slice of break with spray butter. Place the slices butter side down on each half of the pie pans. Spread 1/2 of the pizza sauce on each slice of bread. Sprinkle cheese and place pepperoni slices on one slice of bread. Close the pie pans and cook over the fire until cheese is melted.
Saturday Dinner: Crock-Pot Minestrone Soup (Found at WeightWatchers.com)
This meal was another great meal to warm-up with on a cold night. My mom prepped the soup by cutting up all the vegetables and storing them in freezer bags before we left. All we had to do Saturday was mix the ingredients in the Crock-Pot and let the soup cook throughout the day. It stores great, and we were able to freeze the left-overs to continue enjoying when we returned home!
4 cup(s) canned chicken broth
14 1/2 oz canned diced tomatoes, with basic, garlic and oregano
1 lb uncooked Yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 medium uncooked zucchini, quartered lengthwise, siced 3/4-in thick
19 oz canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups uncooked string beans, cut in 1-in lengths
1 medium uncooked leek, chopped (light green and white part only)
1 large uncooked carrot, diced
1 medium uncooked celery rib, diced
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
2 tbsp olive oil, extra-virgin
1/2 tsp table salt
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Combine broth, tomatoes, potatoes, zucchini, cannellini beans, string beans, leek, carrot, celery and pepper in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW setting until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours. Stir in oil and salt; sprinkle with cheese just before serving.
Saturday Night Snack: S’mores
We were camping, so OBVIOUSLY we had to have s’mores!
Sunday Breakfast: Pancakes or Pop-Tarts
We enjoyed pancakes again, and this time had Pop-Tarts for those who didn’t want to wait.
We always have so much fun on our family camping trips! I am already excited for next year!
What is your favorite part about camping?